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Full text of "Poland Russia and Great Britain 1941-1945"

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appeal to the Members of the British Parliament to lend their voice to an
opinion which would contribute to :—

" 1.    Dissuading the Soviet authorities from continuing the deportations
of the citizens of Poland to Russia ;

"2. Extending to these territories the beneficial activities of the Red
Cross or other institutions aiming at the relief of distress ;

"3. The recognition by the Soviets of the combatant status of the
Polish Home Army;

" 4. The granting to our country the similar rights to that afforded to
France., Belgium., Holland and Italy."

This historic Debate began on February 27. The British Prime
Minister spoke at 12 noon, asking Parliament to formally express their
attitude as " a strong expression of support will strengthen the Govern-
ment's opinion.'3 He called on them not to " shrink from judgment
where such high issue was at stake " and he asked them to declare their
faith in him by passing a vote of confidence.
fc I beg to move/' he began,
" That this House approves the declaration of joint policy agreed to by
the three great Powers at the Crimea Conference and, in particular, wel-
comes their determination to maintain unity of action not only in achieving
the final defeat of the common enemy but., thereafter, in peace as in war."
And he proceeded to speak on Poland.
" I now come to the most difficult and agitating part of the statement which
I have to make to the House—the question of Poland. For more than a
year past, and since the tide of war has turned so strongly against Germany,
the Polish problem has been divided into two main issues—the frontiers of
Poland and the freedom of Poland.
" The House is well aware from the speeches I have made to them that
the freedom., independence., integrity and sovereignty of Poland have always
seemed to His Majesty's Government more important than tru actua
frontiers. To establish a free Polish nation with a good home to live in,
has always far outweighed, in my mind, the actual tracing of the frontier
line, or whethert hese boundaries should be shifted on both sides of Poland
further to the west. The Russian claim, first advanced at Teheran in Nov-
ember, 1943, has always been unchanged for the Curzon Line in the East,
and the Russian offer has always been that ample compensation should be
gained for Poland at the expense of Germany in the north and in the west.
... I have never concealed from the House that, personally, I think the
Russian claim is just and right. If I champion this frontier for Russia, it
is not because I bow to force. It is because I believe it is the fairest division
of territory that can, in all the circumstances, be made between the two
countries whose history has been so chequered and inter-mingled.
" The Curzon Line was drawn up in 1919 by an expert Commission, of
which one of our most distinguished foreign representatives of those days,
Sir Eyre Crowe, was a member. It was drawn at a time when Russia had
few friends among the Allies. In fact, I may say that she was extremely
unpopular. One cannot feel that either the circumstances or the personali-
ties concerned would have given undue favour to Soviet Russia. They just
tried to find out what was the right and proper line to draw. The British
Government in those days approved this Line, including, of course, the